• Blog

    Child slaves on cocoa farms

    The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that “general corporate activity” does not in and of itself create jurisdiction for American federal courts to hear tort cases under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”). To plead facts sufficient to support a domestic application of the ATS, plaintiffs must allege more domestic conduct than the general corporate activity that is common to most corporations. In the case involving Nestlé USA and Cargill, two major U.S. corporations, six individuals from Mali alleged that they were trafficked into Ivory Coast as child slaves to produce cocoa. The American companies do not own or operate cocoa farms in Ivory Coast, but they do buy cocoa from farms located there and provide those farms with technical and…

  • Ecocide

    “Ecocide” as international crime

    An expert panel commissioned by the Stop Ecocide Foundation has proposed the recognition of “ecocide” as a new international crime in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). The ICC already recognizes genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The ICC is the only global mechanism which directly weighs in on the criminal justice systems of its 123 member states. It has been 75 years since the phrases “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” were first used in the Nuremberg Trials. But why a new crime now? Per the Foundation: “Innovation and change on a major scale are required for humanity to thrive sustainably. Ecocide law can level the playing field for solutions and stimulate…